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Downton Abbey to take on Doctor Who at National Television Awards


Downton Abbey was the subject of a Bafta tribute and honoured with a special award in August (ITV/PA)

Downton Abbey was the subject of a Bafta tribute and honoured with a special award in August (ITV/PA)

Downton Abbey was the subject of a Bafta tribute and honoured with a special award in August (ITV/PA)

Downton Abbey takes on Doctor Who at the 2016 National Television Awards (NTAs) in what could be a last hurrah for ITV's popular series.

Created and written by Julian Fellowes, it features in the shortlist for the drama category where it will also go up against BBC One Saturday night staple Casualty and the second series of ITV's Broadchurch.

Winning the NTA for drama would cap a remarkable year in which Downton was the subject of a Bafta tribute and honoured with a special award in August.

Voting is open for the final round which will decide the NTA winners.

ITV will broadcast the star-studded event, hosted again by Dermot O'Leary, live on January 20.

The NTAs 2016 debuts a new drama category.

Contenders range from 18th century-set Poldark, notable for star Aidan Turner's shirtless scything, to the chronicle of a disintegrating marriage in Doctor Foster.

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BBC One's Ordinary Lies, revolving around the employees of JS Motors, and Channel 4's futuristic Humans round off the nods for new drama.

Poldark's Turner is up for drama performance alongside David Tennant in Broadchurch, Sheridan Smith in Black Work and Suranne Jones as the vengeful Doctor Foster.

An intriguing scenario sees Top Gear battling Gogglebox in the factual entertainment category.

The Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond incarnation of BBC Two's motoring series is recognised with a nomination alongside Channel 4's 2014 winner.

DIY SOS: The Big Build, in which princes William and Harry memorably helped renovate homes for war veterans, and Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs are also nominated.

Ant and Dec lead the TV presenter category, with c ompetition from Graham Norton, The Great British Bake Off's Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins and, in his first NTA nod, Rylan Clark-Neal.

The Geordie duo are up against themselves in the entertainment programme category as Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway competes against I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!

The much-loved pair face stiff competition from The Graham Norton Show and ITV2's panel show, Celebrity Juice.

An interesting clash in the challenge show category sees The Great British Bake Off, the most-watched show of 2015 for Nadiya Hussein's win, pitted against MasterChef.

Lord Sugar's The Apprentice and ITV's Bear Grylls: Mission Survive are the other two contenders.

Murder dominates the serial dramas.

Coronation Street, which killed off Callum Logan in a live episode, battles EastEnders, where a special live week revealed Bobby Beale bumped off sister Lucy.

Viewers can also vote for Emmerdale, in which a helicopter crash caused mayhem, and Hollyoaks in which the Gloved Hand Killer was unmasked.

In the serial drama newcomer category, EastEnders' Richard Blackwood, Emmerdale's Gemma Atkinson, Coronation Street's Shayne Ward and Parry Glasspool from Hollyoaks fight for votes.

The contenders for serial drama performance features EastEnders actor Danny Dyer and fellow Albert Square star Rakhee Thakrar.

Corrie's Alison King is also recognised and Emmerdale's Michael Parr gets a nod.

In the live magazine show category, BBC Breakfast and BBC One's The One Show face ITV's This Morning and Loose Women.

The explosion of streaming channels is reflected in a new international category, which sees Netflix's Orange Is The New Black take on Game Of Thrones and E4 comedy import The Big Bang Theory.

Fans can cast votes at www.nationaltvawards.com and use the same website to book seats for one of TV's biggest nights of the year.

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